(Phys.org) The quantum mechanical properties of electrons are beginning to open the door to a new class of sensors and computers with abilities far beyond what their counterparts based in classical physics can accomplish. However, quantum states are notoriously difficult to read or write, and to make things worse–uncertainty about those states’ starting conditions can make experiments more laborious or even impossible.
Now, Penn Engineers have devised an “initialization procedure” system to reset those starting conditions, test them to see whether they are correct, and automatically start the experiment if they are, all in a matter of microseconds. The errors associated with poor initialization multiply, and it quickly becomes impossible to perform a complex calculation. The type of real-time measurement and control used by the team in this work is a major step towards implementing more sophisticated error-correcting protocols in these quantum devices.
Lee Bassett, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering and director of the Quantum Engineering Laboratory, along with lab members David Hopper and Joseph Lauigan, led a recent study demonstrating this new initialization procedure. Lab member Tzu-Yung Huang also contributed to the study.
The researchers’ initialization procedure may also help hasten progress on new quantum architectures for computation and communication.

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